Tips for Dating With OCD

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Tips for Dating With OCD



Today we are starting a new series on Dating & OCD. 

In this episode, I discuss some high-level tips for dating and having a successful romantic relationship while living with OCD & Anxiety. 

It’s important to remember that if you struggle with OCD & Anxiety you don’t have to let it limit your life. Especially, when it comes to experiencing many of life’s amazing gifts like love and family.

Sure, it might take a little more work in certain areas from both partners, but people with OCD & Anxiety can absolutely enjoy healthy and successful relationships.

In this episode, I am going to discuss dating from both the perspective of having OCD and the perspective of having a partner who has OCD. 

My hope is that this will help couples begin to navigate some of the common issues they may be facing if OCD is a third wheel in their relationship.

Have a great week,





All right. Hey there. And welcome to another episode of restored mind show. My name is Matt Codde. And, um, in this episode, we are going to be talking about tips for dating when it comes to OCD. And specifically in this episode, I kind of want to offer some generic tips. And then as we continue this series, I'm going to get specific when I'm going to talk about kind of spousal tips and, you know, people with OCD that are dating and, and so on and so forth. So in this first episode, um, the, the thing that I really want to start here with point number one, is this idea of having some kind of support right now, we need to understand that OCD is a treatable condition, right? And, and it's important to not discriminate on against your partner if they're struggling with OCD, or if you have OCD too, you know, I can only date someone with OCD or something like that.


Right. It's, it's just the thing where it's like, OCD is a, a common disorder, you know, with, with people and it can be treated right. And so it's not a defining characteristic of anybody. And, you know, like I look at that for myself, right? It's like, if my wife just like, you know, discriminating against me because I had OCD, you know, it was like, we wouldn't be married. We wouldn't have our daughter and all that. Right. It's like it because she didn't see it as my defining characteristic. Right. And, um, but it is important to have some kind of support for both partners. Right. So if your partner has OCD and you are, you know, the, the other person in the relationship, so to speak the person who doesn't have those city, um, it's important for you to have some kind of support to, you know, help you navigate certain situations that might arise, especially if your partner is not getting treatment.


Right. And because that's a big thing, right? So if the person where those city's not getting treatment and not getting help, and the OCD is getting worse and worse and worse, it's important that you have support. Um, you know, and obviously restore minds is a, is a great first place to start with that. Cause, um, you know, we do offer a lot of S a lot of spousal support on our workshops and calls. Um, but the other thing is, is if you have obesity, it's important for you to get support for your partner, right. And for the relationship, right? And because if you aren't, if you're just letting the OCD manifests well, then that's you not taking responsibility, right. We need to understand that while obesity is treatable, it also can become a very big strain and problem, and in a very serious problem for people.


And if it's a very serious problem for an individual, it's definitely a problem for the relationship. And it really can manifest different ways based on the specific theme of OCD. Right? So if a person has, let's say contamination, OCD, while they're there, they're going to want their spouse to clean everything. And they're going to get upset if things aren't clean. And what we need to understand is that's, that's a manifestation of the OCD, not even the person's real wants and desire to say it's driven by fear and anxiety, right? And then we can obviously understand how that is going to really impact and oftentimes damage a relationship. And then if you move on to different subtypes, as we will in this series, we're going to kind of talk about subtypes and dating. But, um, but it's really important to have support for both people, right?


Um, if you have OCD, get support, get guidance, get to learn the tools that you need to, um, to manage the intrusive thoughts and, and navigate that because it will help your relationship over the long term. And if you are a person and your spouse has obesity understanding how to support them, right. And that leaves me, leads me to point number two, which is really educating yourself on OCD. Now, what we need to understand is OCD kind of has the four main components that I always talk about, right? It's the intrusive thoughts or the doubtful. What if thought the feeling the uncomfortable sensation, right. Usually anxiety could be guilt, doubt uncertainty, um, and then the compulsive behavior. And then the relief, when we understand those components of OCD, we need to understand how they're playing out in your specific relationship. So one of the things that's really important with dating some of those cities is to make sure that you aren't being a compulsion as the, as the spouse.


Okay. Um, because oftentimes we, you know, when we love someone, we want them to be, you know, happy, healthy, right? We want them to be okay internally. And people with OCD will often seek a lot of reassurance. And as a significant other, you're often the first place someone goes for that reassurance, or, you know, if you're a parent, you know, and things like that, that's often another verse place. But if you're, if your spouse is asking you questions consistently in your answering them in making them feel better temporarily, but it just keeps kind of coming back full circle. We need to understand that that's actually making those city worse over the long run. It's really, really important to understand that because if you keep doing it, it's just going to get worse and worse. Right. And also if you're struggling with OCD, it's important that you understand what your compulsion's are.


Right? So if you're, if you're doing things that are asking your significant other for reassurance and reassurance, or, you know, I'm not avoiding certain things because it makes you anxious and kind of controlling the relationship, that's not good as well. Right. And so education on OCD and in your specific form of OCD and the compulsive behaviors that you're engaging in, or maybe engaging in is, is going to be really important for the longterm health of the individual and the relationship as a whole. And once we understand that we're dealing with obesity point number three, is that we really need to identify if a situation is OCD or not. Right. Because the, the tricky thing is, is that relationships are not easy, right? They're probably one of the hardest things, um, as humans that we navigate, right? Because not only do we have to learn to manage ourselves, but now we're talking about managing, you know, another person's feelings and thoughts and wants and desires, and kind of putting those two things together.


And it's, um, an in any relationship it's, it's obviously more complex than just dealing with an individual. So when it comes to OCD, um, if a situation in a relationship is related to OCD, it's important to identify because there obviously is gonna be conflict in a relationship they're just, you know, it's inevitable, right. And it doesn't necessarily mean that that's a bad thing. What we don't want to do is look at OCD is the cause of everything, right? Cause there are obviously situations that are just going to come up that are normal situations. And we don't always want to like, is that your OCD or, you know, not always blaming a person's OCT because that, that's not fair to the individual that has OCD, right. There are going to be situations that are OCD and that aren't and separating those right. It's, it's important. Right.


And if we, if we know that a situation is OCD, then it's important to address it. Right. And, and that's where both the individual who has OCD and the partner need to really have that education and awareness on what the intrusive thoughts are that the person's experiencing. So if it is, let's say contamination related, then if the situation is around contamination, asking your partner, Hey, you know, is this, is this part of OCD right now? Right. And allowing the person who has OCD to kind of say, you know, like identify it right. And say, yes, this is as opposed to just assuming, right. Because like that, that will cause, you know, or, you know, historically, um, you know, with, with many of the people that I've worked with, it, it's a, it's a sensitive situation, right? Because the person's obviously dealing with something internally, um, you know, with, with mental health.


And if you're just assuming that it's part of their mental health and when it's not, it can really, it can really be damaging to the relationship. Now that said it is important for the individual who has OCD to identify it. Right. And if it is OCD to address it, not to reinforce it and that's that fine line to walk. Right. And so those are just kind of three main tips, right. That I would offer if someone is, if someone's dating someone with OCD, right. Is to make sure that you have support right. As, as someone who is dating and also the individual with OCT. Cause I just think it's something that no one should walk through alone. And again, over at restored minds, you know, we have some links down below, um, that, you know, you can get started on some of those free resources to help you.


And then we also have our live workshops as well. So, um, you know, if that's something that you're, you're dealing with, I would really encourage you to check that out. Um, and then also educating yourself on OCT, educating yourself on that cycle. And really then, then identifying if a situation is, or is an OCD and then separating the two is going to be really important for the relationship. And, and, you know, the reality is people with OCD can have successful relationships. I know there's, you know, um, people that will say like, yeah, you know, it's just the, you know, the opposite of that. But the reality is is that if we view OCD as a treatable condition and which, you know, it is to given the right toolset, people can learn to manage thoughts differently, not engaging compulsions and ultimately, you know, create that rewiring effect or neuroplasticity and heal their brain.


I mean, it really is possible. And if we choose to view it as, as something that's possible to recover from, it, doesn't have to be this lifelong thing. That's going to damage your relationship, but it's up to the individual to take responsibility for that. And it's also up to the spouse to support them on that. And, um, and there's a, there's a dual effect of that. And you know, like me and my wife, like she is very aware of, of, you know, my past struggles with OCD and, you know, we'll have conversations from time to time on, on, you know, like, Hey, you know, like how are things going? And you're just kinda check-ins and if, you know, if something was coming up, like, you know, we would, we would have open conversation. And so I think open dialogue is important. I don't think, I think it's important not to like sweep it under the rug or like, pretend it doesn't exist to have a successful relationship with, with someone with OCD, it's important to be supportive, get support, educate yourselves and identify situations where OCD is actually impacting the relationship and address them head on.


And so hopefully, uh, this was, this was helpful as kind of a starting point. If, if you are struggling with this and again, we have some resources down below in the notes too, to help you with this journey. So be sure to check those out. We also really appreciate if you'd take the time to support us by liking and subscribing to our channel and even leaving a comment below. And, um, you know, we're going to continue on this series here and we're going to talk specifics on subtypes of OCD and dating and how that can look, um, for individuals as we move forward in this series. So thank you so much for taking the time to hang out today. And I hope you guys have a wonderful day. See you soon.